Anyway, as you may recall, I did not like breastfeeding at first. In fact, at this point with BabyT, 4 weeks in, it still hurt like a mofo, and I was spending upwards of 4 hours a day feeding her because she was sloooow. Luckily with BabyM, she's pretty efficient and has a picture-perfect latch, so it never hurt. A-mazing.
|Why is there a pumpkin on my head??|
However, like all newborns, she eats several times a day, so there are some things that make the experience even better.
1. All-Purpose Nipple Ointment. My doctor calls this stuff "magic ointment" and good lord she was NOT kidding. This made breastfeeding bearable the first time, and I'm convinced it's also kept us thrush and infection-free as well. For the second baby, I was smart enough to get the prescription filled *before* the baby came and took this stuff to the hospital.
2. Washable nursing pads. Most people just buy the box of disposable Lansinoh nursing pads to avoid embarassing leaks on clothing. And don't get me wrong, they're pretty great and I have a small stash of those on hand for long outings. But I felt really bad about generating *so much* trash - tossing a few pairs of these every day for months made me feel very eco-guilty. I found these wonderfully made washable nursing pads by wooldins on Etsy and bought a set with each baby. They're WAY better than the 100% cotton ones sold in stores - those get clammy and gross. These stay comfortable, and wash well. Love.
3. Electric breast pump x2. We started BabyM on a bottle this week, so I had my first grown up dinner away from the baby. So nice. Of course, this requires me to pump, but I have to anyway, since I need to start the freezer stash for my return to work in March. I'm lucky to have inherited a nice Medela pump from a close friend (8 years old but still going strong, surprisingly!). What I found out last time was that lugging the pump and parts back and forth and setting it up at home and at work *each day* was a royal pain. So I got another one for work and left it there. I only brought the parts and bottles home to wash and had plenty of extras. Well worth the extra cost.
4. My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow. I know, real women can nurse standing up, walking around, etc. and don't need any stinkin' nursing pillow. But I'm just not woman enough. I'm still pretty awkward without it, though I can get it done if required. But with the pillow, it's so.damn.easy. Baby is at the right height, I can sit up straight without a crazy backache, and it leaves me with a free hand to snack, surf the web, shop online etc. Ridiculous name, but great product.
5. Ugly Glider. I scored a screamin' deal (twice!) on Craigslist for a Dutailier glider-rocker. These things are so ridiculously ugly, but so damn comfortable for breastfeeding. Ours has a charming (puke) pastel animal theme. But the angle of the chair is perfect, it's a rocker, and has comfy padding. I can get over the sheer ugliness of it for the year or so we'll need it.
6. Medela Nursing Stool. When I first saw this, I thought it was another way to separate new parents from their money. I mean, Ugly Glider comes with its own ottoman so why would I need a separate tiny hard footstool? Except that the ottoman is not the right height for nursing, and I am short and had a ridiculous backache for the first few weeks of nursing BabyT. The lactaction specialist recommended this stool, and desperate for relief, I shelled out the money for it. Worth.every.penny. Seriously. It fixed all my posture problems. Love.
7. Smartphone. Yeah, I know. You don't *need* this for nursing. But OMG, having Internet access on a tiny device I can hold in one hand? Priceless for those long feedings. I've shopped online, kept up with Facebook, read the news, and cleaned out my email, all while growing a baby. How awesome is that? I could even watch movies and TV if I wanted to. Definitely an essential.
So there it is - the things that make breastfeeding easy-peasy for me. Hope it helps. What do the experienced mamas out there think? Any essentials I missed? I'd love to hear about them in the comments.